Normal Values of Three-Dimensional Right Ventricular Size and Function Measurements: Results of the World Alliance Societies of Echocardiography Study

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2023 Apr 20;S0894-7317(23)00203-1. doi: 10.1016/j.echo.2023.04.011. Online ahead of print.


Background: Normal values for three-dimensional (3D) right ventricular (RV) size and function are not well established, as they originate from small studies that involved predominantly white North American and European populations, did not use RV-focused views, and relied on older 3D RV analysis software. The World Alliance Societies of Echocardiography study was designed to generate reference ranges for normal subjects around the world. The aim of this study was to assess the worldwide capability of 3D imaging of the right ventricle and report size and function measurements, including their dependency on age, sex, and ethnicity.

Methods: Healthy subjects free of cardiac, pulmonary, and renal disease were prospectively enrolled at 19 centers in 15 countries, representing six continents. Three-dimensional wide-angle RV data sets were obtained and analyzed using dedicated RV software (TomTec) to measure end-diastolic volume (EDV), end-systolic volume (ESV), stroke volume, and ejection fraction (EF). Results were categorized by sex, age (18-40, 41-65, and >65 years) and ethnicity.

Results: Of the 2,007 subjects with attempted 3D RV acquisitions, 1,051 had adequate image quality for confident measurements. Upper and lower limits for body surface area-indexed EDV, ESV, and EF were 48 and 95 mL/m2, 19 and 43 mL/m2, and 44% and 58%, respectively, for men and 42 and 81 mL/m2, 16 and 36 mL/m2, and 46% and 61%, respectively, for women. Men had significantly larger EDVs, ESVs, and stroke volumes (even after body surface area indexing) and lower EFs than women (P < .05). EDV and ESV did not show any meaningful differences among age groups. Three-dimensional RV volumes were smallest in Asians.

Conclusions: Reliability of 3D RV acquisition is low worldwide, underscoring the importance of future improvements in imaging techniques. Sex and race must be taken into consideration in the assessment of both RV volumes and EF.

Keywords: 3D echocardiography; Ejection fraction; Normal values; Right ventricle.